Better than the official sprint time? That’s according to Stephan Reil, Head of Technical Development, Audi Sport GmbH, who spoke with CarAdvice at the recent launch of the second-generation 2018 Audi RS5.
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Despite downsizing from a naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 to a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6, the latest iteration of Audi’s RS5 Coupe makes the same 331kW power output, but gains a significant 170Nm more torque over the old engine for a total of 600Nm

It’s enough to send it from standstill to 100km/h in a claimed 3.9 seconds, only Stephan Reil says that’s a conservative number.

“I’ve been in this job for nearly 20 years, and with all the cars I’ve worked on, the performance numbers we published were conservative. And it’s no different with the latest RS5.

“So, if we say 3.9 seconds, you will measure, maybe, 3.7 if the conditions are fine, probably 3.8, but even under the worst conditions, you’ll do it in 3.9 seconds. But you will not find a 4.0.

“And the reason we are conservative with these numbers is simple. I simply don’t want to hear, when you guys write ‘well, they claim 3.9, but we got 4.0’."

"I don’t want to read that.”

We also quizzed Reil about the fact that the 331kW peak power of the new RS5 precisely matches that of the outgoing V8 version.

“Let me put it this way: The customer buys horsepower, but what he drives is torque. And what’s important is how the engine delivers that torque. Does it come early, does it come with some lag, or does it come the moment you give it some throttle?

“What we have done with the new RS5 is the best we can do right at this time, but of course technology gets old quickly, so we will be able to do better once new systems arrive, such as 48 Volt systems, which we will be able to fit into cars like this one – otherwise it’s more suited to SUVs like our SQ7 at the moment”.

“For now, like with the RS5, we have placed the turbos inside the hot vee of the engine, and that reduces the pipework and increases gas flow and throttle response; therefore, minimal lag," Reil ended with.